The Crosswell-Lexington School District last month agreed to implement significant policy changes with respect to its investigation and handling of allegations of sexual harassment and sexual abuse by school district employees. The policy changes include annual training for school district employees, parents and students on these topics.
Parents of an elementary school student in the District filed a Title IX complaint last year with the United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights as a result of what they felt was the District’s failure to appropriately respond to concerns regarding the conduct of a teacher, who has since left the District. In June, the parents and the District entered into a settlement agreement resolving the claims.
The parents involved in the complaint were represented at Nacht Law in Ann Arbor. “My clients are pleased that the District has agreed to a number of important changes to prevent sexual harassment and abuse of children by those working with kids,”. “The safety and protection of children has always been my clients’ primary concern, and they feel those goals have been furthered with this settlement.”
In addition to training, the District has also agreed to strengthen in a number of specific ways its policies with respect to inappropriate touching of students. The District has also agreed to clearly set forth a policy regarding discipline for district employees who fail to report suspected abuse and has agreed to have an informational meeting for parents and staff at which the new policies will be explained.
The parents who brought the complaint wish to remain anonymous to protect their daughter. However, they want to encourage parents to talk with their children about sexual abuse, harassment and body safety. Additional resources for parents include, “Passing the Trash: A Parent’s Guide to Combat Sexual Abuse/Harassment of Their Children in School,” by Charles Hobson and The Mama Bear Effect.